Twenty weeks ago today, this very minute, I was repacking my bags trying to get those 3-4 pounds of extra weight out of my bags, the two bags I had packed to move to Haiti. I can’t believe that it has been twenty weeks. That sounds like such a short amount of time, but in some paradoxical way, also a long time.
Twenty weeks ago I was unsure of what awaited me in this country. Would I like my job? Would I like my coworkers, my roommate? Would I get sick, eaten alive by mosquitoes, kidnapped, it by a motorcycle? Would I ever learn more than a few random words in Creole? Would I have a panic attack a couple of weeks into the school year and hop the first flight back to Texas? I had no idea what God had in store for me here, even in this short time.
I love my job. I love my coworkers. I love my roommate. I love my church. I love my neighbors. I have been sick, but not severely. I have been eaten by mosquitoes, but they didn’t get the best of me. I have been neither kidnapped nor hit by a motorcycle. I have learned quite a bit of Creole and not once have I wanted to hope on the next flight out of here.
I have fallen in love with this country: the people, the culture, the sights, and yes, even the smells. But even more, I have fallen in love with the rich community here. I am loved, supported, encouraged, amused, and taught daily. I admire these fabulous people I get to call friends because of their strength, faith, love, and for being exactly who God made them to be. The intertwinedness (spell check says that isn’t a word; I disagree) of our lives here has created a sweetness of friendship that would be hard to develop unless you lived in something similar to a commune. Sure, we get on each other’s nerves sometimes and need a break, but at the end of the day we know that a listening ear, a hug, and a laugh are not far away.
Twenty weeks have passed since I hopped on a plane to move here; twenty short weeks. I am excited to go home and be assaulted by American culture, to see my family, and to hug my friends, but I will miss my friends and family here. Yes, even in two short weeks I will miss them. I am thankful that my trip back to the states is not on a one-way ticket.
Look out Texas, here I come! N a wè Ayiti! (See, I learned some Creole)